10 books like Rebecca's Revival

By Jon F. Sensbach,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Rebecca's Revival. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800

By John Thornton,

Book cover of Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800

An invaluable scholarly source for understanding the Atlantic slave system at its source.  Among the book’s virtues are details of the cultures and politics in the area of European penetration and African slavery itself and the African participation in the European trade. This book should be recognized with the extensive literature on the Atlantic slave trade for its acknowledgment of the great range of African languages and cultures that ended up in Brazil, the Caribbean, and North America.

Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800

By John Thornton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book explores Africa's involvement in the Atlantic world from the fifteenth century to the eighteenth century. It focuses especially on the causes and consequences of the slave trade, in Africa, in Europe, and in the New World. African institutions, political events, and economic structures shaped Africa's voluntary involvement in the Atlantic arena before 1680. Africa's economic and military strength gave African elites the capacity to determine how trade with Europe developed. Thornton examines the dynamics of colonization which made slaves so necessary to European colonizers, and he explains why African slaves were placed in roles of central significance. Estate…


National Rhythms, African Roots

By John Charles Chasteen,

Book cover of National Rhythms, African Roots: The Deep History of Latin American Popular Dance

In this fascinating study, Chasteen examines the historical experiences that molded Latin American popular dance from an Atlantic perspective. It delves into the “deep” history of Latin American culture and analyzes the development of dancing culture in its socio-historical context. This is not only a well-researched, but also a well written and oftentimes funny book that is broadly accessible. It is a must-read for any new scholar interested in the field of Black performance culture. Although the focus is on Latin America, Chasteen’s study reveals connections that are also of great importance to understanding the historical development of Black dance culture in North America.

National Rhythms, African Roots

By John Charles Chasteen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked National Rhythms, African Roots as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When John Charles Chasteen learned that Simon Bolivar, the Liberator, danced on a banquet table to celebrate Latin American independence in 1824, he tried to visualise the scene. How, he wondered, did the Liberator dance? Did he bounce stiffly in his dress uniform? Or did he move his hips? In other words, how high had African dance influences reached in Latin American societies? A vast social gap separated Bolivar from people of African descent; however, Chasteen's research shows that popular culture could bridge the gap. Fast-paced and often funny, this book explores the history of Latin American popular dance before…


Afro-Catholic Festivals in the Americas

By Cécile Fromont,

Book cover of Afro-Catholic Festivals in the Americas: Performance, Representation, and the Making of Black Atlantic Tradition

This edited volume studies Black festive traditions in the Americas that are rooted in African interpretations of early-modern Iberian customs. It shows how, from the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade, enslaved and free Africans in the Americas used Catholic brotherhoods as spaces for cultural and religious expression, social organization, and mutual aid. By demonstrating that the syncretic development of certain Black performance traditions in the Americas is a phenomenon that already set in on African soil, it breaks with previous scholarship that (mis)interpreted these festive traditions in the Americas as new, Creole syncretisms. I am convinced that this pioneering book will strongly affect the way future generations of scholars will come to understand Black cultural and religious identity formation in the Americas.

Afro-Catholic Festivals in the Americas

By Cécile Fromont,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Afro-Catholic Festivals in the Americas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume demonstrates how, from the beginning of the Atlantic slave trade, enslaved and free Africans in the Americas used Catholicism and Christian-derived celebrations as spaces for autonomous cultural expression, social organization, and political empowerment. Their appropriation of Catholic-based celebrations calls into question the long-held idea that Africans and their descendants in the diaspora either resignedly accepted Christianity or else transformed its religious rituals into syncretic objects of stealthy resistance.

In cities and on plantations throughout the Americas, men and women of African birth or descent staged mock battles against heathens, elected Christian queens and kings with great pageantry, and…


Origins of a Creole

By Bart Jacobs,

Book cover of Origins of a Creole: The History of Papiamentu and Its African Ties

This book studies Atlantic cultural history from the perspective of language, with a focus on Curaçao. A unique characteristic of this small Caribbean island is that its colonial rulers spoke Dutch, whereas the Black population used an Afro-Iberian creole called Papiamentu as its lingua franca. Jacob’s study embarks on an intriguing quest for the origins of this language, tracing it back to Portuguese-based creoles from the Cape Verde Islands and the nearby African West Coast. It argues that this seventeenth-century Portuguese-based creole later underwent significant Spanish influence and thereby constitutes a case of “reduplicated language contact.”

Origins of a Creole

By Bart Jacobs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Origins of a Creole as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This study embarks on the intriguing quest for the origins of the Caribbean creole language Papiamentu. In the literature on the issue, widely diverging hypotheses have been advanced, but scholars have not come close to a consensus. The present study casts new and long-lasting light on the issue, putting forward compelling interdisciplinary evidence that Papiamentu is genetically related to the Portuguese-based creoles of the Cape Verde Islands, Guinea-Bissau, and Casamance (Senegal). Following the trans-Atlantic transfer of native speakers to Curacao in the latter half of the 17th century, the Portuguese-based proto-variety underwent a far-reaching process of relexification towards Spanish, affecting…


The South and the North in American Religion

By Samuel S. Hill,

Book cover of The South and the North in American Religion

Strangely, very few books about the Christian right explain the differences between southern and northern evangelicals. Hill’s book is an eye-opener. It links theology directly to politics. A historian, Hill is a wonderful writer.

The South and the North in American Religion

By Samuel S. Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The South and the North in American Religion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this comparative history of religious life in the South and the North, Samuel Hill considers the religions of America from a unique angle. Tracing the religious history of both areas, this study dramatically shows how a common religion was altered by hostilities and then continued to develop as separate entities until recently. Coming almost full circle, both North and South now find their religions again to be highly similar. Two factors, Hill believes, were major influences in the diversification of the regional religions: the presence of Afro-Americans as an underclass of people with a distinctive role to play in…


Visual Faith

By William A. Dyrness,

Book cover of Visual Faith: Art, Theology, and Worship in Dialogue

Possibly the most helpful book for those looking to engage both Art and the Church. In Visual Faith the reader will find a wonderful overview of art history from a Christian perspective, beginning with art in the Early Church and coming all the way up to Warhol, Pollock, and art today. There is also an entire chapter devoted to making and looking at art. If there was one book I’d give to people in my church who were interested in engaging with art, this would be it.

Visual Faith

By William A. Dyrness,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Visual Faith as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How can art enhance and enrich the Christian faith? What is the basis for a relationship between the church and visual imagery? Can the art world and the Protestant church be reconciled? Is art idolatry and vanity, or can it be used to strengthen the church? Grounded in historical and biblical research, William Dyrness offers students and scholars an intriguing, substantive look into the relationship between the church and the world of art.

Faith and art were not always discordant. According to Dyrness, Israel understood imagery and beauty as reflections of God's perfect order; likewise, early Christians used art to…


Divided by Faith

By Michael O. Emerson, Christian Smith,

Book cover of Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America (Revised)

Even if you are not a person of faith, evangelicalism in America has caused great division. Thus, understanding how conservative Christianity looks differently in white and Black communities is a good place to start being introduced to issues of race and justice. Many leaders in the church say Divided by Faith is the next most influential book for them—next to the Bible! 

Divided by Faith

By Michael O. Emerson, Christian Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Divided by Faith as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In recent years, the leaders of the American evangelical movement have brought their characteristic passion to the problem of race, notably in the Promise Keepers movement and in reconciliation theology. But the authors of this provocative new study reveal that despite their good intentions, evangelicals may actually be preserving America's racial chasm.
In Divided by Faith, Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith probe the grassroots of white evangelical America, through a nationwide telephone survey of 2,000 people, along with 200 face-to-face interviews. The results of their research are surprising. Most white evangelicals, they learned, see no systematic discrimination against blacks;…


Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America

By Matthew Avery Sutton,

Book cover of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America

Aimee Semple McPherson lived a trailblazing life as the founder of the Four-Square Gospel Pentecostal church in Los Angeles, the first woman to own a US radio station, and a captivating, theatrical preacher. The beauty of Sutton’s book is the way he shows how McPherson’s sexual charisma—as well as her nearly career-ending sexual scandals—enabled her to define herself as the embodiment of Christian virtue. Wearing white and preaching with props and scenery worthy of a Hollywood set, McPherson used a show business savvy to portray conservative Christianity as the bedrock of Americanism.

Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America

By Matthew Avery Sutton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Rock to Christian Coalition canvassers working for George W. Bush, Americans have long sought to integrate faith with politics. Few have been as successful as Hollywood evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.

During the years between the two world wars, McPherson was the most flamboyant and controversial minister in the United States. She built an enormously successful and innovative megachurch, established a mass media empire, and produced spellbinding theatrical sermons that rivaled Tinseltown's spectacular shows. As McPherson's power grew, she moved beyond religion into the realm of politics, launching a national crusade to fight the…


God's Last and Only Hope

By Bill J. Leonard,

Book cover of God's Last and Only Hope: The Fragmentation of the Southern Baptist Convention

A liberal Southern Baptist, Leonard describes the fundamentalist takeover of the largest Protestant denomination. The take over accompanied the South’s transformation into a Republican stronghold and made the Christian right a serious force in American politics. Leonard is one of the best-known historians of the Convention and of contemporary religion in the South.

God's Last and Only Hope

By Bill J. Leonard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked God's Last and Only Hope as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Analyzes the recent controversy between moderate and fundamentalist Baptists from an historical perspective


Listen America!

By Jerry Falwell,

Book cover of Listen America!

Falwell was the first in US history to attempt to organize white evangelicals into a voting group, and this is his manifesto. It’s a must-read because he introduces all the themes of the movement ever since.

Listen America!

By Jerry Falwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Listen America! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paperback book by Jerry Falwell that is the conservative blueprint for Americ's moral rebirth.


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